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Gintis v. Bouchard Transp. Co.

Citation: 40 ELR 20057
No. No. 09-1717, (1st Cir., 02/23/2010)

The First Circuit vacated a lower court decision that denied class certification to property owners in their action against the owners and operators of a barge that discharged a substantial amount of oil into a Massachusetts bay. The court held that, although the lower court’s fact finding was too sparse to provide a prudent basis to say that a class should have been certified, the property owners had presented substantial evidence of predominating common issues that called for a searching evaluation. Ruling on certification without grappling in detail with the parties’ contending proffers and arguments stopped short of exercising informed discretion. The judgment is therefore vacated and remanded for plenary consideration that precedent requires.